Back in the summer of 2009, when I was working at the University in a windowless room and dreaming of sunshine, I was invited to be on Sky’s latest reality TV show, Dating In The Dark. I’d failed to win a low-quality TV quiz show a couple of years back, and after that had appeared incidentally on various other programs, and was well and truly in the databases of the people who made such shows. They thought I had just the right level of geek chic to appear — it was apparently very in at the time.
The show was a mixture of Big Brother and Blind Date: three lads and three ladies would live in opposite sides of a custom-built house, and their antics would be televised. At set periods, they would interact one-on-one in the central room of the house which was, of course, pitch black. Various dating scenarios would be played out, eventually leading to the final romantic date between the partners that had chosen one another.
Then came the big reveal, the two would sit on opposite sides of the table, and the lights would be briefly be turned on. Darkness would resume and either party then had the option to silently slink out of the room. When the lights came back on, if one person had chosen to remain in the room, they’d either be confronted with their new true love, or the public humiliation of an empty seat.
I was tempted – I’m normally up for any new adventure – but I turned it down based mostly on how repulsed I was every time I talked to the people organising it, and whilst I don’t regret that decision, I’ve since been fascinated with the idea of how a date like that would work.
So, when a dear friend messaged me last week to say that she knew someone excessively beautiful and smart that I had to meet, I responded by offering to take the superlative young lady out on a date and insisted I learn no more about her than her name. Tomorrow, we’re heading to Dans le Noir, New York’s take on the ‘dining in pitch blackness with blind waiters’ trend which has a branch in most major cities by now.
I’m arriving 15 minutes earlier than her, and the restaurant has agreed to seat us separately (they loved the idea when I rang), which means that tomorrow evening I’m going on a blind, blind date. Wish me luck.